Technology That Guides Learning

Using technology in the classroom

Time Out! GAME Plan Progression September 26, 2012

I feel that sometimes working toward a goal is often harder than coming up with a goal in the first place. This week we have been asked to determine how we are doing with regards to progressing through our goals that we established two weeks ago.

My first goal includes being able to improve how I “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” (ISTE, 2012). I have already begun planning a lesson that will allow me to offer my students an authentic way of learning and require them to really use some creativity. I have been using internet resources to find unique ways of introducing this lesson and keep my students engaged. It has really been fun finding all these resources that are so adaptable to my classroom. Even lessons that are originally made for pencil and paper format, I am able to tweak them to include technology. While I feel confident that my lesson will allow my students to show their creativity, I always have the question of “will they get it?” I am currently working on my template to make sure that everything is well planned out so my students have no questions about what is expected.

Secondly, my other goal for this year is to become more comfortable in “design[ing] and develop[ing] digital age learning experiences and assessments” (ISTE, 2012). I am trying to incorporate technology into my lessons whenever I can. So far, I have been able to use overhead projectors and laptops for word processing. One problem I am running into is that when I plan out my lessons, I generally do it one month at a time. I sign out laptop carts for the days that I think we’ll use them, but by the time we get to that point, I have been forced to push back other lessons due to necessary extended time. Since my school only has six laptop carts, it becomes difficult to ask for them a few days in advance. I need to remind myself to plan for more time on lessons to avoid this type of problem. On the other hand, in order to learn about new digital tools that I can use, I am in weekly contact with our school’s technology coordinator to learn of new tools that I can use in my classroom. Sometimes I ask her for a tool to use with a specific lesson or student and other times she will share new technology that she has read or attended a conference about.

Overall, I think my progress is going fairly smoothly and gradually. I have implemented what I can, and I have begun planning for what I see my students doing in the near future. I am very excited to introduce my students to these new lessons and technologies, and I hope that they embrace them as much as I have!

ISTE, I.S. (2012). Nets for Teachers. Retrieved September 12, 2012 from:
http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/nets-t-standards.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 

GAME On: Carrying Out My GAME Plan September 19, 2012

As I begin the process of breaking down my GAME plan into smaller chunks, I need to determine the resources and additional information that I need in order to carry out the plan. As I stated in my previous post, I want to be able to improve on assisting and encouraging my students’ creativity as well as constructing and developing digital lessons and activities.

In order to find success in my goals, I will need access to specific information and technology tools. In cultivating creativity among my students, I need to become more familiar and comfortable with technology tools that will allow my students to express themselves via audio, video, and project presentation software. I am familiar with programs such as VoiceThread, iVideo, and powerpoint, but I think that a visit to our school’s technology coordinator would be a great way to learn new types of technology and to also become more accustomed to using the tools I already know.

Constructing and developing digital lessons will also lead me to using our technology coordinator, but I also think that researching this type of planning will also lead me to a variety of ideas from different teachers. Subscribing to blogs is a definite way to stay on top of new ideas and discover how others have implemented their digital lessons into the classroom.

In addition to finding my resources, I also need to determine what my students are capable of with these different technologies and how comfortable they are with learning new tools. In my Resource classes, it is much easier to learn this information because I have about ten students per period. I have also had several of the students before, so I know what they are capable of doing. My Inclusion classes will be more challenging due to the numbers and my unfamiliarity with them. Through class discussions and observations, I think that I will find out any restrictions in due time. Plus, having a co-teacher will absolutely aid in attempting to teach the new technologies that we incorporate. In the first five weeks of school, I have already begun the process of learning what my students are capable of doing. I hope to discover even more as we begin implementing more of these tools.

 

 

The GAME Plan September 12, 2012

Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) offer four suggestions of self-directed learning. These suggestions and recommendations are what they consider the GAME plan. As they mention, “The GAME plan requires you to think about and take steps to direct your learning process, specifically while learning about technology and how to integrate it into the curriculum” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 3). In other words, teachers must determine the steps that will help their students to benefit the most from their education while using technology to enrich the curriculum. The acronym GAME stands for setting Goals, taking Action to meet those goals, Monitoring progress toward achieving goals, and Evaluating whether the goals were achieved and Extending your learning to new situations (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 3).

As our class assignment requests, I have read through the National Education Standards for Teacher (NETS-T) from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and determined which two standards I would like to improve upon. I feel that standards one and two are areas that I would like to further develop within my teaching profession. These standards state that teachers will “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” and “Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments” (ISTE, 2012). Using the GAME plan, I have developed ideas on how I will gain more knowledge and experience with these standards.

GOALS:

I would like to improve the way that I am able to “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” (ISTE, 2012). While I am confident in my content knowledge, I want to support my students’ learning by offering creative ways to share their knowledge. I want to engage my students in real-world issues and ask them to work them out using technology tools.

I also want to become more comfortable in “design[ing] and develop[ing] digital age learning experiences and assessments” (ISTE, 2012). I want to create authentic lessons and assessments that will give my students real-world experiences within the realm of English. I would also like to incorporate more virtual experiences for my students as many of them do not have the opportunities to go outside of our city.

ACTIONS:

I know that I can offer more real-world issues through project-based learning. I will need to determine which parts of my curriculum that I am able to turn into project-based learning activities and allow my students to use the available technology to work on these issues.

I will need to become more comfortable in using new technology in order to allow my students more authentic assessments in the digital age. I know that I can attend mini-workshops with my school’s technology coordinator in order to become more up to date on these technologies.

MONITOR:

In order to ensure that I accomplish my goals and actions, I need to determine dates to implement these goals and activities. In keeping with a timeline, I can set mini goals for myself in order to plan, implement, and reflect on my chosen standards.

EVALUATE:

I will evaluate whether I was able to “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” (ISTE, 2012) by reflecting on my own lesson plans as well as using student feedback. I think my students will be able to offer me those most honest opinions on whether or not they felt that they were being asked to be creative. I think it will also be easy to determine whether the lessons I produce are based on real-world issues by how my students respond to them.

Evaluating my goal of “design[ing] and develop[ing] digital age learning experiences and assessments” (ISTE, 2012) will also be determined by how my students respond to the activities. My students will be able to provide invaluable information on the authenticity of the lesson and on how much they felt they learned from it.

In the end, I think reflection will be the biggest key in helping myself improve upon these standards. I also feel that asking for colleague and peer assistance will help me to enhance what I know as well as learn new teaching ideas and technology tools.

Other than those that we have used through Walden, what are other technology tools that you all have used to enhance real-world activities and lessons?

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

ISTE, I.S. (2012). Nets for Teachers. Retrieved September 12, 2012 from:
http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/nets-t-standards.pdf?sfvrsn=2